Sabtu, 28 Maret 2015

GOVERNMENT RAISES FUEL OIL PRICES AGAIN

By Andi Abdussalam
          Jakarta, March 28 (Antara) - The government has raised the prices of premium gasoline and diesel fuel by Rp500 per liter, respectively, which is effective on Saturday, March 28.
         The prices of premium gasoline were raised from Rp6,800 to Rp7,300 per liter for regions outside Java, Madura and Bali (Jamali), and from Rp6,900 to R7,400 for regions in Jamali.
         The government also hiked the price of subsidized diesel oil from Rp6,400 per liter to Rp6,900 per liter both for regions inside and outside Java, Madura and Bali.
         "Both types of fuel prices have been increased by Rp500 per liter," I Gusti Nyoman Wiratmaja, acting director general of oil and gas, said while announcing the price hikes on Friday.
         This was the second time that the government raised the gasoline and diesel oil prices in March after increasing them earlier on March 1.

Jumat, 27 Maret 2015

INDONESIAN GOVT PRIORITIZES RENEWABLE ENERGY DEVELOPMENT

By Andi Abdussalam
         Jakarta, March 27 (Antara) - The Indonesian Government is focusing on the development of renewable energy and other alternative sources in the face of the depletion of its fossil-based fuel energy reserves.
         In an effort to develop alternative sources and renewable energy, the government is turning its attention to developing, among other factors, solar energy and energy from processed urban wastes, industrial refuse, vegetables, and plantations.
         Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources (ESDM) Sudirman Said has stated that the government will seriously implement its program to produce renewable energy from vegetables.
        "The program to generate renewable energy from vegetables is one of our priorities. We hope the mandatory program can generate 1.57 million kiloliters of energy from vegetable wastes," the minister said recently.
         According to Said, President Joko Widodo has put forth an idea for managing displaced land in Indonesia. "Displaced land should be made use of for the green diesel development program by opening energy plantations at those locations," he stated.
         The minister further noted that extraordinary support will be needed from the government, private sector, and farmers to expedite the green diesel development program.
         Besides exploring and implementing energy generation programs, the government has also issued a policy raising its mandatory biofuel mix of diesel from 10 percent (B10) to 15 percent (B15).

Kamis, 26 Maret 2015

INDONESIA MAKING ARRESTS ON ALLEGED ISIS ACTIVISTS

 By Andi Abdussalam   
          Jakarta, March 26 (Antara) - Indonesia has over the past few days raised the alert over the activities of ISIS sympathizers, mapped out suspicious locations and arrested suspected members.
         The government is tightening control in the country over the activities of supporters or followers of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) after it learnt that some 500 Indonesian citizens have joined the radical group.
         Moreover, 16 Indonesian citizens have also been arrested in Turkey for alleged plans to cross into Syria to join the ISIS.
         The 16 Indonesians were caught when they were trying to cross into Syria from a Turkish border city without proper documents.    
    Besides that, at least 514 Indonesians have joined the ISIS, according to Deputy Chairman of Commission I on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives Tubagus Hasanudin. 
    Therefore, Indonesian anti-terrorism police officers are now tightening control on suspicious activities of the group in Indonesia and they are arresting suspected ISIS activists.


Selasa, 24 Maret 2015

INDONESIA RAISES BIOFUEL USE TO REDUCE FOSSIL FUEL IMPORTS

 By Andi Abdussalam
          Jakarta, March 24 (Antara) - The Indonesian government has raised its biofuel mix of diesel fuel oil from 10 percent (B10) to 15 percent (B15) in an effort to save US$2.54 billion per annum on fossil fuel imports.
         The B15 mandatory policy will be implemented by the Ministry of Mineral Resources and Energy (ESDM) from April 1, as part of efforts to support the government's macroeconomic policy.
         "This is one of the fundamental changes being implemented in the energy sector. The composition of the energy mix has been gradually shifted from dependence on fossil fuel to new and renewable sources of energy (EBT)," ESDM Minister Sudirman Said stated here on Monday.
         The minister said that the policy, which is contained in the ESDM minister's regulation number 12/2015, will have broad implications, such as the absorption of 5.3 million kiloliters of biodiesel, which is some 4.8 million tons of the country's crude palm oil (CPO) production, and the retrenchment of US$2.54 billion of foreign exchange from fossil fuel import cuts.
         If successful, the biofuel mix will be increased to 20 percent (B20) in 2016, for instance, when the use of the mix is expected to reach 8 million kiloliters.
         The 15 percent increase in the use of biofuel mix is part of the government's newly announced economic policy package.

OBSERVERS DOUBT EFFECTIVENESS OF GOVT'S POLICY PACKAGE

 by Andi Abdussalam
          Jakarta, March 24 (Antara) - Some economic observers have raised doubts about the effectiveness of the recent government's economic structural reform policy package implemented to control fluctuations of the rupiah currency against the US dollar.
         On Monday, last week, the government issued an economic policy package aimed at improving the performance of Indonesia's trade balance and services trade balance, which had become the dominant contributors to the country's current account deficit.
         The government economic structural reform policy package comprises policies on tax allowance, anti-dumping import duties, visa-free facility, the use of 15 percent biofuel mix,  the application of Letter of Credits for mining companies, and the restructuring of domestic reinsurance firms.
         Economic political observer Ichsanuddin Noorsy pointed out that the government's economic policy package was not adequate to strengthen the rupiah value to a stable level.
         "Even though the government implements the economic policy package, the rupiah currency will remain under turmoil," noted Noorsy.

Sabtu, 21 Maret 2015

INDONESIA CAN ACHIEVE RICE SELF-SUFFICIENCY THIS YEAR By Andi Abdussalam
          Jakarta, March 21 (Antara) -- The government has predicted that Indonesia will achieve its rice self-sufficiency target this year, much earlier than President Joko Widodo's former goal of reaching this milestone in the next three years.
         "We are confident that we will achieve rice self-sufficiency this year. Recalculations revealed that the national need for rice is only 28 million tons per annum. So we will be able to achieve the target this year," Vice President Jusuf Kalla said here on Friday.
         Calculations made by the Ministry of Agriculture had found that the per capita consumption of rice in Indonesia is 124 kilograms per annum. So the government based its rice production target on per capita consumption of 124 kilograms.
         However, following the joint assessment conducted by the Central Bureau of Statistics (BPS) and the Ministry of Trade, it was found that Indonesia's per capita consumption of rice is only 114 kilograms per annum.
        So based on this figure of 114 kilograms, Indonesia will be able to become self-sufficient in rice production this year, much before the three-year target earlier set by President Joko Widodo.

Jumat, 20 Maret 2015

GOVERNMENT URGED TO TIGHTEN CONTROL OVER ISIS

By Andi Abdussalam
          Jakarta, March 20 (Antara) - The Indonesian government has been urged to tighten its control over Indonesians traveling abroad and to monitor suspicious activities of residents at home to prevent them from joining Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
         Deputy Chairman of Commission I, which oversees foreign affairs, of the House of Representatives (DPR), Tubagus Hasanudin revealed that at least 514 Indonesians have joined the terrorist group ISIS.
         Despite the ISIS influence in Indonesia not yet posing a factual threat, however, the Indonesian National Police has warned Indonesian citizens to exercise caution. It has appealed to the people of the country to be wary of irresponsible parties who persuade them to join ISIS.
         "We appeal to all national elements to spread awareness among the younger generation of the country, so that they are not tempted to go abroad and join ISIS without a clear mission," National Police Public Relations Spokesman Brigadier General Anton Charliyan emphasized here on Friday.